Monday, March 31, 2014

ACE #166: Praise God Anyhow

One of the most difficult tasks in life as a Christian is to be able to praise God in the face of loss, tragedy, and suffering.  It reminds me of the story of Job.  When God allowed Satan to test His righteous servant, Job, even Job's wife said, "Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!"

At one point, Job actually lost everything - his livestock, his home, his children, and his health.  Even his friends and his wife were not who they claimed to be; they were supposed to offer comfort, but instead offered their opinions as to why Job had to suffer the way he did.  Even after this, Job even prayed for them.  My favorite part of this story is that even in the midst of all of this, Job says in Job 13:15, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him."  Of course, he had questions just like we do, but Job never denies his integrity or his honor in order to get to the answer of "why".  He maintains His trust in God and never takes on the mindset of his friends and wife.  He made up His mind to honor God even though He didn't fully  understand why those things had happened to Him.  The Lord came to Job in a storm and asked, "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand" (Job 38:4).  God exerts Himself above Job, spiritually, as the Creator of all things - after which Job shuts His own mouth. 

God put us here for Him - to honor Him, to trust Him, and to praise Him...even when the enemy makes it look like we are defeated.  It reminds me that God knows all things concerning us - great and small.  We should always endeavor to honor God with our actions and our attitudes even when we can't see the victory.  Resolve to give God everything you have in spite of what it looks like.


Psalm 66:2
Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious


"Facing the Giants" - We Praise Him
http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/facing-the-giants/we-praise-him?play=1


 




Friday, March 28, 2014

ACE #165: Scandal Time - Kids See the Darndest Things

Shonda did it again! She intrigued us, shocked us, and kept us up late with the "It's a Family Affair" episode.  Every character in the show was either cheating or lying.  There were rocks thrown...okay, bricks thrown, at everyone's "glass house".  But it was the children who I felt most sorry for in all of this.  Instead of the kids being "hot and bothered" like regular teenagers, it was all of the adults who just couldn't control themselves.  Everybody was sneaking around like serpents in the Garden of Eden. 

Fitz and Mellie's daughter will never, ever be the same.  She was already hurt and embarrassed by what she'd heard about her father; then she caught her mother with "Uncle Andrew". The moral of the story - kids SEE the darndest things...on television, on the Internet, and in the home.

Families must be diligent about what they allow their children to come into contact with - physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Parenting...it is a job that should be taken more seriously.  While Scandal is "make believe", somebody's home might actually look like the Fictitious White House.  I shudder to think...


Matthew 5:16                     

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

1 Timothy 4:12                    

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

James 4:17                    

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.


 In the words of Olivia Pope, "Fix your family!"

 
Photo credit:  www.eonline.com (T. Bricker)


 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

ACE #164: It’s Our Anniversary: 10 Ways We Survived 10 Years of Marriage

Before we got married, we attended marriage counseling.  After 10 years, I don’t remember all the things that were discussed during the sessions, but I do remember the pastor saying this, “Most marriages break up due to one of these three things: family, finances, and fidelity issues.”  That has always been etched in my mind.  We were determined that we wouldn’t allow any of those things to destroy our marriage.  Honestly, we have met our challenges, but we’ve learned from them.  While we haven’t mastered marriage, we are committed to the ministry of marriage.  Step by step.  One day at a time.  Here are the ways we’ve survived our marriage:

1.    Be honest about the things that rub each of us the wrong way.  If not, it festers and resentment is the outcome.

2.    Be sound fiscal managers.  When there are big purchases to be made, we talk about it first. (And no hiding money under a rock).  And give back to God what is due Him.  It is because of Him that we are so blessed.

3.    Do not lend or give money to family members unless both agree. On the flip side, do not borrow money from family members unless both agree.  Part of this is also keeping our financial business to ourselves.  Besides, it's no one else's business.

4.    Be truthful – even if it hurts; just learn how to choose words carefully.  Learn how to finesse the message to get your point across. 

5.    When discussions get too loud or too emotional – revisit them at a later date when clearer heads can prevail.  There will just be times when agreeing to disagree is the best outcome.  (There is such a thing as "fighting fair"...if you must fight at all). 

6.    Family first - it’s a non-negotiable; everyone at our address is top priority.

7.    Surround ourselves with like-minded couples; they will be least likely to entertain confusion and more likely to show support.  Believe it or not, a marriage does need support.

8.    Split household chores.  It minimizes arguments about who is pulling the most weight.  It is okay for everyone to have a specific role, but be flexible when necessary.

9.    Reserve time for ourselves; it is a must that we spend alone time together to reconnect, to communicate, and to be romantic.  Part of this is also about celebrating one another and the small things.

10. The only third person in our marriage is God.  He is and always has been.  (After all, it is a Christian marriage). We trust God and take Him at His word for the increase that has come in these 10 years and the increase that is yet to come in the next milestone of our marriage. 

So, today we celebrate each other; and we celebrate what God joined together...


Eph. 5:23-32

For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.

And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. And we are his body.

As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
 
 
And the two became one...
 

March 27, 2004

 
 
 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ACE #163: When 'We Are the World' Really Meant Something

The summer of my 10th birthday, there was a popular song out called, "We Are the World".  It featured many celebrities of different races, backgrounds, talents, religions, and genders.  All of us would sing this song over and over again on the bus on our way to sports camp.  Everyone knew the words, but it was the message that really grabbed us - a message full of love, hope, joy and faith.  It was America's way of reaching out to Africa, but it was also our way of reaching out to each other as a nation, but really as small communities that make up the nation.  The song was a symbol of "unity".

This particular song made me think about why our society is in the situation it is - high crime rates, unemployment, poverty, racism, and war.  I contend that the state of the world today has nothing to do with politics or even the economy; the problems really stem from people not having the ability or even the willingness to show others sympathy, empathy, and love.  We live in a society full of plain ole mean people who plot evil - King Harrods, Pharoahs, Queen Jezebels and Delilahs, while there are fewer and fewer Good Samaritans.  People refuse to be their brother's or sister's keeper because there is an attitude of selfishness, entitlement, jealousy, and maybe even fear that exists among people in general.  If it happened between Cain and Abel, who were biological brothers, is it not realistic to think that it is happening now?

This is all the more reason for those who claim to be Christians to study the word of God more intentionally, to pray more often, to live as examples of holiness, and to make disciples.  If the body of Christ is not setting the example, then why should others follow?


1 Corinthians 13
 
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

We Are the World:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9BNoNFKCBI


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ACE #162: Why Your Breakthrough Feels Distant

There have been times in my life when I've felt like my breakthrough is far off in the distance.  I can't see it.  I can't sense it.  I can't even imagine it.  I've lacked patience and have grown weary of waiting for it.  I realized that usually my breakthrough feels distant when I am not being obedient...when I refuse to do what God has told me to do. 

Obedience to God means that we have to listen to what He is saying to us, trust that His plan is better than ours, surrender everything to Him, and obey His Word.  God rewards our obedience.  That's when He sends our breakthrough.

In Genesis 22, Abraham is tested.  God says to Abraham in verse 2, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”  The next morning, Abraham did just that.  It says that Abraham "saw the place in the distance."  He went up to the top of the mountain after he prepared for the fire with knife in hand.  Isaac even helped him prepare for the sacrifice.  Isaac then asked, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”  Abraham assured Isaac that God would provide the sacrifice.  Abraham tied his son to the altar.  As he was about to slay Isaac with the knife, the Lord stopped Him and told Abraham, 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” And there it was, a ram in the bush, which served as the sacrifice. Abraham called that place, The Lord Will Provide!  Then came the promise:

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”

Maybe your breakthrough seems off in the distance; after all, so was Abraham's. That very promise that God had for Abraham only came because Abraham listened to God's instructions, trusted God's plan, surrendered His son to God, and obeyed God's Word.

I encourage you to follow the Abraham plan of obedience so that you can get your "ram in the bush" breakthrough!

Bible text:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+22

 
The Lord will provide...

Monday, March 24, 2014

ACE #161: March Madness: What Team Are You Rooting For?

Yesterday, I did the Children’s Moment at our church.  I had all of the kids tell me who they are rooting for during March Madness.  They either said the University of Kentucky Wildcats or the Louisville Cardinals.  This is an epic battle within our beloved state of Kentucky.  Friendships will suffer.  Families will fall out.  Houses will be divided.  One team will emerge as the victor, while the other will fall as the loser.

Imagine the amount of pressure on these boys…yes, they’re boys…kids really.  They have yet to enter fully into adulthood.  Yet they have so much pressure on them not to just perform, but to win.  Regardless of what type of season they’ve had, those tournament weeks are what matter the most.
When I think about what team I am rooting for, I always pick Team Jesus.  The Bible says that no matter what, as long as I am on His team, I will have the victory.  No matter how much work I do toward kingdom building, none of it will be in vain.  The ultimate trophy comes in the reward called eternal life. 

Choose Team Jesus.  With Him, you will always win!  Be a champion.

1 Corinthians 15:57-58

57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ACE #160: Has Spring Sprung in Your Life?

Today is the first day of Spring!  We have had a bad winter that has seemed to last forever.  Snow. Ice. Rain. Thunder. Lightning. Sleet. Hail. More Snow. More Ice.

What I've learned is that under all of that "winter" mess is the possibility of new life. My life isn't even the same as it was this time last year.  Something "new" has happened.  It reminded me of Pastor John P. Kee's song called "New Life," which is the same name of his gospel ensemble choir.

Oh what a change
Has come over me
My life has detoured
A life of misery
From darkness
You gave me light
All the wrong in my life
You came and made it right
He has given us new life


Even in the miserable and long "winter" season in your life, if you just hold on a little while longer there is "new life".  Stay prayerful.  Stay patient.  Stay in Christ. Your "spring" is coming!

Revelation 21:5                    
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Isaiah 43:19                    
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.


"New Life" by John P. Kee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo6UGXZnank




 




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ACE #159: That One Time I Tried Not to Believe in God…Sort of

I moved to Columbus, Ohio at the age of 22 to pursue my graduate degree at The Ohio State University.  I was literally on my own.  I had no adult supervision within three hours.  I couldn’t wait to do “whatever I was grown enough to do.”  That started with, not getting up early on Sunday mornings to attend church…anywhere!  I wasn’t really reading my Bible as much.  I didn’t really pray that much either…purposely.  I was trying to seek independence from my childhood "requirements" while under my parents’ roof.  I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do.

For the first few weeks, I would get up on Sunday mornings and do a little bit of homework, wash some clothes, and clean the kitchen.  I would even whip up a meal.  Then I had nothing else to do.  I decided to get a job at Lerner New York (now New York & Company).  I would be scheduled for work around 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.  Again, this would still leave my Sunday mornings wide open. I would turn on the radio while I was doing my housework and there it was…gospel music.  As a church musician, this was the first time – ever – that I didn’t even have to get up to go play piano at church.   

Attending church was so ingrained in me, that I just didn’t know what to do with myself otherwise.  But it wasn’t “church” that was ingrained in me as much as it was my relationship with God.  I had to really try hard not to attend church and not to be close to God.  Then I had a wakeup call.

I received a telephone call from Kentucky saying my parents and my brother were in a car accident.  The first thing I did was pray.  (I had no friends or family there really).  The God I had tried so hard to distance myself from, on purpose, was the first place I turned.  It immediately changed my perspective.  I realized that being grown enough to do whatever I wanted to do meant I would have to decide for myself if I was going to choose to have a close relationship with God.  I made up my mind to seek God more intentionally.  I began attending a church down the street.  It was one of the best praise and worship experiences of my life.  Ironically, the church musician was one of my college classmates from Kentucky State University.  I immediately felt comfortable and welcomed there. 

What an awesome surprise that God had waiting for me all along.  That is why I truly believe that God’s plan is so much greater than ours and He is always working on our behalf.  As a result of that experience, I seek God deliberately and with my whole heart!  I encourage others to do the same.

But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

 
 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ACE #158: Daddy's Girl

Today is my father’s birthday.  The older I get, the more I appreciate him. 

When I was a college Sophomore, I went through a bad breakup with my very first boyfriend.  I’d invested about five years or so of my life into this relationship.  My dad saw me moping about as I was coming out of my grandparent’s house and walking toward my car.  He backed his car up in the middle of the street and rolled the window down.  Here’s how it went:
I’m sick of you walking around here like you’ve really lost something.  You have everything going for you.  You’re smart.  You’re good looking.  You’re young with your life ahead of you.  You have a nice car.  You have a good education.  You have a good job.  What have you really lost?  He doesn’t have half of the things you have; yet I’m sure he’s moved on.  Your mom and I work hard to make sure that you have everything you need.  You didn’t have to depend on him for anything, not even a ride anywhere.  So pick your head up and keep it moving.  You’ll get another boyfriend eventually.  Focus on school.  I don’t want to have this conversation with you again.  Do you hear me?

Yep...I heard him loudly and clearly.  I’ve told this story many times and it still resonates with me.  My dad validated me at home.  I didn’t have to search for love anywhere.  He made sure that his children knew the depths of his love for us and our own self-worth, although it seemed harsh at the time.  That’s why I have the husband I have – a hard-working, god-fearing, family man - because my dad made me know that’s what I deserved!  He gave me so much, just in that one brief moment, to last me a lifetime.

So today, I salute my daddy, Charlie Brown.  I will forever be known as one of Charlie’s Angels.  I love my daddy!
 
Luke 11:11-12

What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?





 

Monday, March 17, 2014

ACE #157: Seeing Green

This morning when I dropped off our daughter to school, St. Patrick’s Day had completely slipped my mind. Completely!  We forgot to put green on her and also forgot that there was a party in her class today.

Since we live right down the street from the daycare, I dropped her off and went back home.  I searched frantically for something green for her to wear, but found nothing.  All I had was a jacket that had rainbow colors in it with a few green stripes.  I also found a pack of brand new mint green Oreo cookies.  I grabbed a green ring that I have because I forgot to wear green as well.  All of this for some little ole Leprechaun thingy dude and some random guy named St. Patrick?

ButBy the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland. Legends credit St. Patrick with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, using it to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God.

The shamrock had been seen as sacred in the pre-Christian days in Ireland. Due to its green color and overall shape, many viewed it as representing rebirth and eternal life. Three was a sacred number in the pagan religion and there were a number of "Triple Goddesses" in ancient Ireland, including Brigid, Ériu, and the Morrigan.
 here is what I learned about St. Patrick’s Day:

St. Patrick was a former slave in Ireland who eventually became an ordained bishop.  He has been credited with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by using the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, as an illustration of the teaching of Christianity of three persons in one God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  The color green is often synonymous with rebirth and eternal life.  (Check out Wikipedia for more).

When I think about the color “green” I am reminded of God’s provision, His love and the new beginnings He has for us based upon His word.

By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland. Legends credit St. Patrick with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, using it to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God.

The shamrock had been seen as sacred in the pre-Christian days in Ireland. Due to its green color and overall shape, many viewed it as representing rebirth and eternal life. Three was a sacred number in the pagan religion and there were a number of "Triple Goddesses" in ancient Ireland, including Brigid, Ériu, and the Morrigan.
Genesis 1:30

30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

His Provision


Psalm 52:8

But I am like an olive tree
    flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
    for ever and ever.

His Love


Isaiah 43:18-21

18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
    the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21     the people I formed for myself
    that they may proclaim my praise.

Our New Beginning
 
 
 

Friday, March 14, 2014

ACE #156: Scandal Time - Did You Really Just Say That?

There were SO many moments last night in Scandal where I asked the question, "Did you really just say that?" And I asked directly to the television as if I was going to get an answer. LOL!

Self-Righteous Sally really did steal the show last night.  Her one liners were off the chain!  That "Piggy, piggy, yum, yum crispy piggy" thing was absolutely awesome writing from Team Shonda and the delivery of each and every line was impeccable.  But it was her nerve that  caught me off guard.  She was calling out everybody's sins.  Ultimately, when it came time to announce her own to the entire world...she froze! 

Last night's classic lines were those that Sally spoke to Olivia.  The first, "The devil at my door..." and I can't forget, "You are not a woman of God!"  She meant both of those...even though she herself is a murderer, actually, a member of what Olivia called, "Murderers Row." 

But aren't we sometimes like Sally?  We love to put other people in their place...about their sins...with a microscope...and a rock in hand.  Don't get me wrong, I do not support adultery; I do, however, advocate for grace.  We serve a forgiving God who lets us "off the hook" for our sinful nature...over and over again quite actually.  But let's be clear - it is not permission to continue to sin.   

The saying goes, "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."  In other words, do not criticize others if you have similar weaknesses.  Well...hey...maybe just don't pick up a rock...pick up a Bible.  Open it. Read it. Perhaps within one of those 66 books, you'll find your own story.

I've found my story, maybe once or twice.  I also found Jesus.  After all, that is where grace begins and condemnation ends.  I am certainly thankful for His grace.


John 8
New International Version (NIV)
but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”


 




Thursday, March 13, 2014

ACE #155: What Scent Do You Leave Behind?

The other day my friend got in my car so that we could ride to Walmart.  She picked up a Bath & Body Works lotion bottle from my cup holder.  I told her that it was my daughter's lotion and that my kid has more scented lotion, perfume, and lip gloss than I have.  She took a sniff of it and said, "That is absolutely her lotion.  That's what she smells like all of the time!" 

It reminded me of when my former co-worker told me, "I always know when you've been in a room.  I can recognize your scent."  I asked her, "Uh...what scent is that?"  She responded,  "You always smell so sweet and fruity."  I just burst out laughing because I made every conscious effort to smell real good and to use all of my Bath & Body Works coupons.  As a matter of fact, I still do.  Fruity is my thing.  Flowery...not so much.

This really made me think about what "scent" we leave behind in a room after we've exited.  Is it a sweet aroma?  Is it a stench?  I'm not talking about our body odor; I'm talking about our attitudes.

There are just some people whose attitudes - just straight up - stink up a room.  They are always negative and mean-spirited.  One of my former co-workers from years back was one of the worst.  People would always run in the opposite direction when they saw her coming because she was always negative and never failed to stir up trouble.  Whatever people would talk about was sure to be repeated with a few things added to it and taken out of complete context.  She really thought she would come out "smelling like roses" all of the time, but people actually had her pegged.    

There are others like my deceased Aunt Shirley, aka Mrs. Wesley, who wore very strong, extremely recognizable perfume; yet it was her pleasant demeanor that really lingered in the atmosphere after she left a room.  (She's be gone four years and we can still smell her scent in her bedroom). There was just a genuine sweet spirit about her.  She truly exhibited the love of Jesus to those she encountered - even complete strangers.

Even in the midst of suffering, Jesus maintained a positive attitude.  He even asked for forgiveness for those who had sinned against Him.  We are to be like Christ...a pleasing aroma in any room and in any situation.  We must be cognizant of the "scent" we leave behind so that it doesn't ruin our witness for the Master.


2 Corinthians 2:14-16
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life...


Ephesians 4:29
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
     
 
 

 
 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ACE #154: When You Come Full Circle

Yesterday, I visited by former workplace.  I went back to support my husband who was delivering the message at the noon Chapel Service.  It also marked the one-year anniversary since I’d left.  I realized what the things were that I missed so dearly, which was really my students, my colleagues, and just the overall fellowship. 

There will be times in life when we have to make really tough decisions to move on.  It will be a wise choice professionally or personally, but it might not feel like it at the time.
When I took my previous job, I couldn’t necessarily figure out why I was there other than it being a good career decision.  I felt the same way a year ago when I accepted my current job; I wasn’t sure why I was there other than it being a better opportunity for my career.

After a year, I’ve come full circle.  I’m in a place where I get what lessons God is trying to teach me and how He is shaping my plan.  Even though I left my previous job a year ago, it hasn’t really left me. Changing jobs doesn’t change what is at the core of who I am – discipleship.  No matter where I go…I still take Jesus with me.  I guess that’s why after a year, I still felt at home.
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: